Shout! Factory Reissues ‘Bagdad Cafe’ on Digital Platforms

Shout! Factory has announced the April 27 digital-only release of Bagdad Café, a comedy drama from director Percy Adlon that is set in a remote town in the Mojave Desert.

The film will be available through digital retailers and on demand. Consumers who order the film from Apple will have access to The Trip to Bagdad, a bonus documentary with Eleonore and Percy Adlon.

Originally released in 1987, Bagdad Café follows the story of German tourists Jasmin and her husband as they drive through the Mojave desert. They get into a fight and Jasmine storms out of the car and winds up taking a room at a nearby motel. She befriends some of the locals and eventually begins working at the town’s cafe, which is visited by some colorful characters. With an ability to quietly empathize with everyone she meets at the cafe, helped by a passion for cleaning and performing magic tricks, Jasmin gradually transforms the cafe and all the people in it.

The cast includes Monica Calhoun, Marianne Sägebrecht and veteran character actor Jack Palance.

The film grossed $3.59 million in the U.S. box office, and won multiple awards including Best Foreign Language Film at the 23rd Guldbagge Awards, Best Screenplay at the Bavarian Film Awards, the Ernst Lubitsch Award, Best Foreign Feature Film at the Amanda Awards, Best Foreign Film at the César Awards, and more.

Shout! Studios Nabs Rights to Two Aaron Lee Lopez ‘Teenage’ Comedies

Shout! Studios, the multi-platform entertainment distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory, has acquired North American rights to two young adult comedy features directed by Aaron Lee Lopez, Teenage Girl: Valerie’s Holiday and Teenage Vampire, both from Mutt Productions.

Under the agreement, Shout! Studios gets domestic theatrical and home entertainment rights (broadcast, digital, video-on-demand, and all packaged media) for cross-platform releases. Shout! Studios plans a strategic launch for both films, beginning with the release of Teenage Girl: Valerie’s Holiday on major entertainment platforms later this year.

The deal was negotiated by Shout’s Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions, and Steven Katz, VP of business affairs, and Dead Rabbit Films’ David Chackler and Nadia Redler, along with Kurt Wipfli for Mutt Productions.

Teenage Girl: Valerie’s Holiday (2019) is about a nerdy teenage girl who pretends to be her beautiful, fake twin sister from California to become the most popular girl in high school and ultimately learns that being yourself is more important than popularity. The cast includes Valeria Jauregui (DeputyIt Came Upon A Midnight Clear), Montana Leann, and Paulina Chavez (Netflix’s The Expanding Universe of Ashley GarciaFeliz NaviDAD).

Teenage Vampire (2020) finds two girls joining the high school cheerleading squad in order to be cool, only to find out the team is infested with vampires. The cast includes Claire Tablizo (Teenage Girl: First WheelsTeenage Girl: Valerie’s Holiday) Jaeden Riley Juarez (It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, Teenage Girl: First Wheels), and Gabby Garcia (Supernatural Activity).

Supernatural Thriller ‘The Unhealer’ Due June 8 from Shout! Studios, Scream Factory

Shout! Studios and Scream Factory in collaboration with VMI Worldwide will release the supernatural thriller The Unhealer through digital retailers and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, as well as VOD, on June 8.

Each collectible Blu-ray Disc and DVD of The Unhealer includes behind-the-scenes interviews, alternative/ extended scenes, a gag reel, and deleted scenes.

Directed by writer, producer, and filmmaker Martin Guigui (Beneath the Darkness, The Bronx Bull, Future World), the film stars Natasha Henstridge (Species, The Whole Nine Yards) and Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Near Dark).

Other cast members include TikTok superstar Elijah Nelson (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, S.W.A.T.), Kayla Carlson (Why Women Kill, Widow Detective), Adam Beach (Suicide Squad, Cowboys & Aliens), Chris Browning (Westworld, Bosch), and Branscombe Richmond (The Scorpion King, Hard To Kill).

The film is about a bullied teenager who gains the means to fight back when a botched faith healing bestows supernatural, shamanistic powers upon him. When his lifelong tormentors pull a prank that causes the death of someone he loves, the teen uses his newfound abilities for revenge and goes on a bloody rampage to settle the score.

A production of A Horror Business Films in association with 7 Ideas, Gard Dog Productions, Sunset Pictures, and Bloodstone Films, The Unhealer, a Martin Guigui Film, is produced by Galen Walker, Cristi Harris, J. Shawn Harris, and Tony Hannagan. Executive producers are James Gardner and Hamish Gibson.

LGBTQ+ Specialist Wolfe Video Cuts DVD, Blu-ray Disc Deal for Two Bleecker Street Films

Wolfe Video on April 15 announced that it has entered a home entertainment partnership with DECAL for two Bleecker Street films, Harry Macqueen’s Supernova and Mona Fastvold’s The World to Come.

Wolfe Video has already announced a DVD and Blu-ray Disc release date for Supernova on May 18; The World to Come will follow on June 1.

In The World to Come, a 19th century romance set in the American Northeast, Abigail (Katherine Waterston, “Fantastic Beasts” franchise), a farmer’s wife, and her new neighbor Tallie (Academy Award nominee Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman) find themselves irrevocably drawn to each other. A grieving Abigail tends to her withdrawn husband Dyer (Casey Affleck) as free spirit Tallie bristles at the jealous control of her husband Finney (Christopher Abbott). Together, their intimacy beings to fill a void in each other’s lives they never knew existed.

The World to Come had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where it was awarded the prestigious Queer Lion award, before its domestic premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Bleecker Street released the film theatrically on Feb. 12 and digitally on March 2.

The World to Come was directed by Mona Fastvold (The Sleepwalker) from a screenplay by Ron Hansen and Jim Shepard, and is based on an original story by Shepard. The film was produced by Sea Change Media, Killer Films, and M.Y.R.A. Entertainment, in association with Hype Film, Charades, Yellow Bear Films, Panasper Films Ltd. and Ingenious Media.

The deal was negotiated by Kathy Wolfe and Evan Schwartz from Wolfe Video and Kent Sanderson from Bleecker Street.

“We are excited to partner with the team at DECAL and Bleecker Street for these two special films in the LGBTQ+ genre,” said Schwartz, VP of content at Wolfe Video. “With Wolfe’s home video expertise and long-time presence in the LGBTQ+ community, we believe LGBTQ+ and mainstream audiences will hold a place for Supernova and The World to Come in their physical media collections.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Wolfe on these two beautiful films,” said Kent Sanderson, president of acquisitions and ancillary distribution at Bleecker Street. “They have proven themselves to be leaders in the space and we know that they will help us continue to find new audiences to enjoy Harry and Mona’s work.”

Each DVD and Blu-ray Disc will include behind-the-scenes featurettes, English closed captions, English audio descriptions and Spanish subtitles.

Founded in 1985, Wolfe Video says it is the largest exclusive distributor of lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) films.

‘Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray June 8

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on June 8 will release Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

The 2005 computer-animated Japanese film has been fully remastered in 4K with HDR. The new release features all-new Dolby Atmos audio in both English and Japanese.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was directed by Tetsuya Nomura, written by Kazushige Nojima, and produced by Yoshinori Kitase and Shinji Hashimoto. The film takes place two years after the climax of the 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII, in which Sephiroth is foiled in his attempt to absorb the Lifestream of the planet and be reborn as a god. He was defeated by Cloud Strife and his team, but during the battle the city of Midgar was destroyed.

When a mysterious illness is linked to a plot to resurrect an Sephiroth, Cloud must choose between the life of solitude he committed to or taking up the sword once more to save the planet he so loves.

The new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition features an extended director’s cut containing 26 minutes of additional footage and over 1,000 revised scenes.

Shout! Studios Wins Distribution Rights to ‘Language Lessons’

Shout! Studios, the multi-platform distribution and production arm of Shout! Factory, April 6 announced it has acquired North American rights to the drama Language Lessons from Duplass Brothers Productions.

Starring and written by Mark Duplass and Natalie Morales, Language Lessons, a platonic love story, marks the feature directorial debut of Morales and was produced by Mel Eslyn. The film premiered at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival and won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival.

Duplass plays Adam, whose husband surprises him with a gift of a year’s worth of weekly Spanish lessons. But when tragedy strikes, his teacher, Cariño (Morales), becomes a lifeline he didn’t know he needed and the two develop an unexpected and complicated emotional bond.

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Shot in secret during the pandemic with a skeleton crew in Los Angeles and Costa Rica, Language Lessons received critical acclaim out of Berlin and SXSW.

Shout! Studios has secured all distribution rights in North America to Language Lessons, including theatrical, digital, video-on-demand, broadcast and home entertainment for cross-platform releases. Shout! Studios plans a strategic launch of this movie across all major entertainment platforms in North America, beginning with a theatrical launch later this year.

“We’ve been so humbled by the response to our little film, but it was Shout!’s unwavering passion and innovative strategy that won us over in the end,” Duplass said. “Can’t wait for this one!”

The movie deal was negotiated by Jessica Lacy at ICM Partners for Duplass Brothers Productions and Shout’s Jordan Fields, VP of acquisitions, Julie Dansker, head of new content sales, and Steven Katz, VP of business affairs, for Shout! Studios.

Language Lessons is a masterfully acted, sharply crafted, and profoundly entertaining portrait of friendship by Natalie and Mark,” Fields said. “It leaves you hopeful that real human connection can blossom in the uncongenial world of screens.”

“I am thrilled to partner once again with Mark and Mel, iconic storytellers and filmmakers, on this award-winning and very special film,” added Dansker. “The performances from Mark and Natalie are amazing and we are so excited to share Natalie’s incredibly impressive and refreshing directorial debut with audiences.”

A production of Duplass Brothers Productions, Language Lessons was executive produced by Natalie Morales, Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass. The film features original music by Gaby Moreno.

Shout! Celebrates Transgender Day of Visibility With June 1 Release of ‘The Sound of Identity’ Doc

In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Shout! Studios on June 1 will give home viewers the chance to watch The Sound of Identity, a groundbreaking feature documentary from director James Kicklighter (Angel of Anywhere) that profiles opera star Lucia Lucas’ historic performance at the Tulsa Opera.

The documentary will be available digitally and on demand from Shout! Factory.

Lucas is a transgender baritone who grew up in Sacramento. She studied horn and voice at California State University at Sacramento and did graduate work at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. She moved to Germany in 2009 as Lucas Harbour. She decided to transition in November 2013, started taking estrogen and antiandrogens in July 2014 and underwent facial feminization surgery in September. In 2016, she had her gender reassignment surgery.

Winner of the 2020 Outshine Film Festival’s prestigious Programmers Award of Excellence, the documentary captures Lucia Lucas on the cusp of international stardom, profiling the moment in an artist’s career when everything could fall apart or come together. Showcasing the collaborative process between Lucas and her mentor, prolific and renowned composer Tobias Picker, Mozart’s Don Giovanni comes to life as Lucas takes the spotlight and all the pressures that come with it. Taking place at the height of her career, Lucas provides fresh insights into her transition, the professional risk she is taking, and what it means for those who follow.

The Sound of Identity is a production from the Emmy Award-winning team of Russ Kirkpatrick and Andy Kinslow and is executive produced by Golden Globe winner and Academy Award-nominated Josh Bachove.

Jude Law Starrer ‘The Nest’ Gets May 18 Blu-ray Disc Release From Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory in conjunction with IFC Films has announced a May 18 home release date for The Nest, an atmospheric drama from director Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene) about how obsession with social status can lead to disaster.

The film will be available on Blu-ray Disc and may be ordered in advance now directly from the indie distributor’s website at ShoutFactory.com.

The film follows the story of an ambitious British entrepreneur and former commodities broker named Rory (Jude Law, Sherlock Holmes) who persuades his American wife Allison (Carrie Coon, The Leftovers) and their children to leave the comforts of suburban America and return to his England. Sensing opportunity, Rory rejoins his former firm and leases a centuries-old country manor, where he plans to build a stable for Allison’s horses. Soon the promise of lucrative new beginnings begins to unravel, and the couple must face the unwelcome truths lying beneath the surface of their marriage.

Bonus features include an “Anatomy of a Scene” featurette in which director Sean Durkin and lead actor Jude Law break down a key scene from the drama, and the theatrical trailer.

Nominated for two 2020 Gotham Awards, the film premiered on Jan. 26,  2020 at the Sundance Film Festival and received a limited theatrical release in the United States and Canada last September.

‘Supernova’ to Arrive on Blu-ray Disc, DVD on May 18 From Wolfe Video

Independent distributor Wolfe Video has set a May 18 home release date for Supernova, a British drama written and directed by Harry Macqueen.

The film will be released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, with a prebook date for retailers of April 6.

Supernova follows Sam (Colin Firth) and Tusker (Stanley Tucci), partners of 20 years, as they travel across England in their old camper van, visiting friends, family and places from their past. Tusker is diagnosed with early onset dementia, prompting the pair to spend as much time together as they can.

Supernova had its world premiere at the San Sebastián International Film in Donostia-San Sebastián, Spain, in September 2020.

The film was released in the United States in January by Bleecker Street and in the United Kingdom in March by StudioCanal.

Crime Thriller Series ‘Grace’ Premieres on BritBox Streaming Service April 27

BritBox, the subscription streaming service from BBC Studios and ITV, on March 18 announced it is expanding its collection of originals in North America with a new crime thriller series based on the popular Roy Grace novels by Peter James.

“Grace,” starring John Simm (“Doctor Who,” Trauma) as the title detective, premieres April 27 on BritBox in the United States and Canada. The screenwriter is Russell Lewis, who created the popular mystery series “Endeavor.” The Roy Grace novels have sold more than 20 million copies in 37 languages.

“Grace” follows hard-working Brighton-based detective Roy Grace, who because of his unorthodox crime-solving methods is exiled to investigating long-forgotten cold cases. After a stag night prank appears to go wrong the groom has gone missing, and Grace, still haunted by the disappearance of his wife, and at risk of losing the job he loves, is tapped by his colleague, Detective Sergeant Glenn Branson (Richie Campbell, Small Axe) to help solve the time-sensitive case.

“Grace contains all the elements of what our audience is looking for from BritBox: an award-winning writing team, a phenomenal British cast, and, most importantly, a compelling mystery story packed with shocking twists,” said Emily Powers, head of BritBox North America. “As the only authentic British streaming service available in North America, we have and continue to premiere edgy, modern, premium content.”

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“We’re absolutely delighted to be working with Russell Lewis and Peter James, two of the greatest writers around, and to have the chance to bring Grace alive on screen,” said executive producers Andrew O’Connor and Paul Sandler of Second Act Productions. “Like so many other readers, we’ve been fans of the Grace books since they first appeared, so this is a fantastically exciting project for us.”

“Grace” is co-produced by Second Act Productions, Tall Story Pictures (both part of ITV Studios) and Vaudeville Productions, and is distributed internationally by ITV Studios. This season will feature two 90-minute standalone TV films based on the first two books in the series: Dead Simple and Looking Good Dead.

“Grace” is the latest addition to BritBox North America’s slate of original films and series, which include true crime co-productions “The Pembrokeshire Murders” and “Honour” as well as “A Confession,” “There She Goes” and “McDonald & Dodds.”

BritBox subscriptions are $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year — after an introductory free trial period — on Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick, Apple TV (fourth generation), Samsung, LG and all iOS and Android devices, AirPlay, Chromecast, and online. BritBox is also available on Amazon Channels for Prime members and on Apple TV Channels on supported devices.